Sgt Grit Newsletter - 08 MAR 2012

In this issue:
•D.U.K.W or "DUCKS"
•Permission to Bleed
•Paint it Black

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"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bast-rds won't get away this time!"
--LTGEN Chesty Puller, USMC

"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"
--GEN John Vessey, Jr., Chairman of Joint Chiefs

"Retreat hell! We just got here!"
--CAPT Lloyd Williams, USMC

In This Issue

Photo of Marine figurine saluting next to photos and flags We love motivation here! Check out what others have done to stay motivated and get us a pic of your moto gear, moto room, moto self etc.

Here we go: because they were indestructible, club was packed, form a bucket brigade, without breaking, down our throats, echo chamber and blinder, enter numbnuts(me), 0351/3051, towel around his neck, VC would do the same, the tippy toe dance, sand pit proving he knew, but everyone paid, pounding on the bucket with his swagger stick,

Keep kicking at darkness until it bleeds light Popping smoke.

Stay Green
Sgt Grit

House Cleaning

It's time again for a bit of house cleaning and awareness. I try to leave each story as you write it. But I have to make certain changes. It is Corps with an 's', not Corp, Marine is ALWAYS capitalized. I don't care what Mr. Webster says or your high school English teach. The Corps can't be responsible if the rest of the world is wrong on capitalization.

To get past the PC police, web filters and other Gestapo types I have to adjust some of the more colorful words Marines use. Examples: sh-tbird, d-amn, etc... This is a Marine newsletter, not the Little Sister of the Poor Convent Newsletter.

This is a good one. Read the whole Sonofa B-tch, do it now maggot. Our Drill Instructors taught us how to talk to each other. I will continue to do what I can to get around the effete elite PC filters.

Definition of EFFETE
1: no longer fertile
2a : having lost character, vitality, or strength
2b : marked by weakness or decadence
2c : soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence.

NOT a problem we have as Marines.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Watch Sale


Dear Sgt. Grit
I was a between the wars Marine and served from 10/55 to 10/58 with 5 years inactive reserve. My first and best duty station, following P.I. (Platoon 164) and I.T.R. at Pendleton, was at Camp McGill Japan. Camp McGill was a former Japanese naval base and my draft wound up in the 1st Amphibian Truck Co., 2nd AMTRAC Batt. 3rd Marines. The company was soon downsized to platoon strength and became the 3rd D.U.K.W. Platoon with Capt. Dave Dichter commanding.

DUKW D.U.K.W.s are better known as "DUCKS". I believe we operated the last D.U.K.W.s in the Corps and by 1957 they were ruled obsolete. Most of the platoon was shipped to Okinawa and wound up in Motor Transport. The DUCKS were designed by G.M. and built on a G.M.C. 2 ton truck chassis. Power, but not much of it, was by a 97 house straight 6. The ducks were truly amazing with all wheel drive and a system to raise and lower tire inflation which allowed the driver to crawl up beaches when AMTRACS couldn't (sorry AMTRACERS).

D.U.K.W.s were used by the Marines in the pacific and by the Army and the Brits at Normandy. Although the Marine Corps didn't want them anymore, D.U.K.W.s have remained in continuous civilian use for over 65 years. The U.S. really got their money's worth from the D.U.K.W.s or "DUCKS".

The attached picture was taken during a practice landing at Iwo Jima around 1956.


Goofy Grape

Grit your newsletters are totally awesome. My wife and I have been reading them religiously since you started them those many years ago.

Here's one for you to post. Does anyone remember using the names of the Pillsbury Funny Face Drink mixes to ID smoke (ie "Goofy Grape", Choo Choo Cherry, etc..). I remember sitting in the barracks at MCAS Beaufort listening to the Sea Stories being told by airwingers, especially Combat Enlisted Crewmembers taking about it many times. They told us newbies that they did this to confuse the VC because many times when the ground pounders were told to pop smoke, the VC would do the same so they needed some way of authenticating the right locations. Keep up the great work you are doing for our Marines past and present. OoooRaahhhh!

Roman "Ski" Milanowicz
Sgt '68-'74

Permission To Bleed

Safety was drilled into us recruits from day one at the range, and one of the first things stressed was making sure that your weapon had been cleared and the bolt was open before leaving the firing line.

In 1968 at the Camp Pendleton Range we had this one idiot that was a goof ball and was constantly getting himself and the rest of the platoon in trouble. Of course he was the Drill Instructor's favorite target when they needed someone to use as a demonstration dummy.

One day at the range the D.I.'s called the whole platoon from the firing line and had us assemble some little ways back so they could make a point about something or other and they, of course, called for this one "not so bright" recruit to come up front and center and stand next to the Senior DI.

Up he ran and when he stopped to stand at attention he placed the rifle at his side and when he put the butt of his rifle on the ground WHAM. Somehow this guy still had a round chambered and when he grounded the rifle butt it jolted the bolt loose and it slammed shut making the rifle discharge.

At the moment of discharge the recruit had placed his right hand over the flash suppressor of his M-14 and had his thumb across the muzzle. This blew the tip of his thumb right off and it also caused burns to his hand. Now of course the Drill Instructors went nuts and had absolutely no pity on this guy. They even had some commissioned officers come and read him the riot act. Did they call for medical help? No. Not at first.

While exhausting themselves yelling at this kid they had the whole platoon run in place in the sand. The DI's said this was to mimic the tippy toe dance the pained and wounded recruit was doing. Then they sat us down to finish giving the instructions they had originally called us up to hear.

Not finished, they then proceeded to place more stress on safety at the range. While they were speaking all they did was give this poor guy some towels to stop the bleeding and to clean up his spilt blood. As we all know, he was not given permission to bleed.

When finished with that they double timed us back to our barracks. That's when they allowed him to get medical help. The DI's made their point very clear and ever since I have always treated a weapon with the utmost respect and made sure it was cleared when done shooting.

PFC P. Thorpe

Turning Them Over

Hello Sgt Grit,

This is my first time writing. The post by L/Cpl Gallant about the cooks and 4 eggs say Thank you. I was a Marine cook and very proud to say I was. Today I earn a very good living being a chef, thanks to the training and experience I had in the Corps. Now back to the eggs, cracking them without breaking the yolk is one thing, turning them over perfectly and breaking the yolk is another! One more point our commanding officer made it very clear at my first duty station the role of cooks. First reserve we are still combat Marines.

Thank you,
Cpl Michael Downey 79 - 82

Cousin Brucie

One day last December my wife and I were listening to the Cousin Brucie Show on the XM Sixties channel on our Dish Network, when Brucie announced that he would be doing a live show from 8 to midnight on New Year's Eve. He invited listeners to email requests and include a story about why the song was significant to us. So I sent the following letter, and am happy to say it was read in its entirety on New Year's Eve:

Jose Perez and I were best buddies. He was from San Antonio and I was from the Ozarks. We had been in Vietnam 4 months when one day in June, 1966, our outfit, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, got out of the field for a couple of days to take showers, eat some hot chow, and drink a few beers. We were having a beer, sitting by ourselves, listening to the Armed Forces Radio Network beneath a clear sky and full moon, when they played "Paint it Black." It was the first time we'd heard the song. Despite all the horror we experienced before that, it was a magical moment.

I would like to request "Paint it Black," and dedicate it to the memory of Jose Perez, a great person and a great Marine, who we lost five years ago.

Gary Harlan
Marshfield, Missouri

Reunion H 3/10

Reunion for H 3/10 and any others that served with 3/10
When: 22 - 24 June 2012
Where: designated hotel is the Baymont Inn & Suites at Camp Lejeune. The address is 474 Western Blvd., Jacksonville, NC 28546 (pet friendly) POC for any questions is Donald Jones: mr.djones @ email .com (no spaces)

Called Out

A platoon of us arrived in MCRD San Diego on Saturday, 28Jan1956, We spent the rest of the day and Sunday cleaning the wood floors repeatedly. On Monday morning we were picked up by our DI's and our training started. By the way, there were no yellow footprints, they must have come later.

One of the first things we did was to receive our bucket issue. We were seated in a room off the recruit PX. Each was given a bucket full of personal items, wash cloths, towels, shaving cream (Barbasol in a tube), Lava soap, Gillette double edged razor, etc. One of the DI's stood at the front of the room and pulled an item from a sample bucket and called out what it was. We would find the same item in our bucket and hold it in the air. This was continued until our buckets were empty.

The buckets themselves were something else. They were very thick galvanized steel. Looked like boiler plating. All looked new but that was because they were indestructible. They also had two wide strips which looked like the same boiler plate welded in a cross shaped pattern across the bottom.

Mostly they were used as seats in the Quonset huts or on the Company Street out front. I think all of the other creative uses have been covered earlier.

Paul (Steve) Murtha
Sgt 25Jan56 - 24Apr59

The Minimal Wall

First of all thanks to you Sgt for this great newsletter; my wife and I both wait for it every week.

I love all of the continuing sagas that regular contributors continue to submit. ddick has been really enjoyable. His latest, "Dum Bass" really struck a chord with me. Specifically his comments about the e club dredged up some great memories. I was at MCRDSD for Boot in late 1961 and returned in Feb 63 until Jan 1964 for electronics school, and again from Dec 1964 until Mar 1965. It seemed like all of the electronic school guys spent most of their non-duty hours hoisting food and drink at the club. Good place to hang and the food at our assigned mess hall (north end of base behind the old Sea School barracks; REAL close to the runways at Lindbergh field) at that time was all but inedible. Can anybody shed any light on what was going on in that mess? It did get cleaned up in '65, and if you can believe half of the myth and legend bad things happened over there.

I always thought the NCO area at the club behind the minimal wall was a joke; the NCOs deserved better. Us E1,2,3s also kept interrupting them to buy our beer which we had to take back to our area to drink; seemed silly! Also remember all of the Friday(?) night dances and live entertainment; it was always great and the club was packed. Good times!

I also remember that the females both Navy and Marine were billeted right across the street from the club; maybe a 1/2 block or so. They were frequent visitors also. The Waves seemed to be friendlier or maybe it was just me. I mention it because like previous posts I do not recall seeing females of any sort other than PX civilians at any of my duty stations (Pendleton, Yuma). I remember several Waves; dental techs that we got friendly with. 2 in particular; Ginger Easton and Susan Dewiess (sp). Ginger left in late 1963, but Sue was still there in 1965. Ginger was from Council Bluffs IA and Sue was from somewhere in OK as I remember. Always wondered how life treated them. You see some of the guys, but people like these young ladies just disappear; probably the maiden name thing I guess.

ddick thanks for the trip down memory lane from time to time; keep it up.

Wayne Mailhiot 1961-1966 1980XXX

Thoughts Remain

I was a DI at Parris Island from March 1953 thru May 1955 and have read the stories regarding the buckets. All of the uses of the buckets is valid. One use which so far has gone unmentioned was for emergency firefighting. When a fire drill sounds, the thing which must go out the door with the recruit is his bucket. This would be to form a bucket brigade to get water to any unreachable fire. It would form at the outside wash racks and extend to the fire. It could begin at all the spigots, perhaps fifty or more lines, and extend to the fire. It could also be used to replenish the fire truck supply tank. I was released from active duty in October 1955, but I still have my bucket.

Firefighting was a worry back then because of the old 2 story wooden barracks. Each contained four squad bays with upper and lower living quarters for assigned DIs. I think the old wooden barracks are gone now and have been replaced with permanent brick barracks. Only the thoughts remain.

Floyd Hutcheson

Perennial Vision

Sgt Grit,

It was 1987 Recruit Training at Parris Island SC. and we were in a "school circle front hatch", with our Senior Drill Instructor, it was 3rd phase and we were "salty". I had a fellow recruit we will call "Bates". Our Senior Drill Instructor said we could "speak freely". So as to ask questions about the Fleet Marine Force without the formality of using the typical 3rd person part of speech. Any way "Bates" raised his hand, was recognized by the Senior Drill Instructor, and proceeded to ask this question:

"Sir, is it wrong for the recruit to correct the Senior Drill Instructor when he says, "perennial vision", and the Senior Drill Instructor intends to say "peripheral vision". Most of us burst out in laughter (huge mistake), others didn't but everyone paid.

Needless to say we were immediately ordered to the quarter deck and were punished for "Bates" transgressions. It was all worth it, without him I wouldn't have this story to tell.

Semper Fidelis
Sgt. RM Sheffield

Wall to Wall Ride Across America for Veterans

Wesley Barrientos and Jeremy Staat 4,163 Miles 15 States 100 Days - Wall to Wall Bicycle Ride

We are welcoming U.S. Marine Jeremy Staat and Soldier Wesley Barrientos to Oklahoma City as they ride from coast to coast to bring awareness about Veterans suicide, a more efficient VA system, educational informational centers on all college campuses and childhood obesity.

Please come by Sgt Grit, Saturday March 31st between 1400 and 1500 to meet these heroes and feel free to support their cause by helping with a donation.

My name is Jeremy Staat, I am a retired NFL Player, a United States Marine, friend and former teammate of Pat Tillman's and an Iraqi War Veteran. More about the Jeremy Staat Foundation

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,
Reading the letter from Dick Stites, he mentioned knowing Capt John Yancey a "decorated" hero from WWll and Korea. John Yancey was awarded the Navy Cross at Guadalcanal and again at the Chosin Reservoir. TWO Navy Crosses!

Semper Fi!
W F Mitchell

Sgt. Grit,
W F Mitchell is definitely correct. VMA-214 as well as VMA-212 were attack Squadrons even as late at 1961 at which time they were part of MAG-13, 1st Marine Brigade, Kaneohe Bay. They flew the FJ-4, Fury. When and what time they detached later on after that, I have no idea. Maybe they change squadron designations based on aircraft and/or assignments?
Pete Kristall
MACS-2, MAG-13, 1st Marine Brigade, 59-61

Sgt Grit,

ddick must have been on the firing range too long without his hearing protectors on. The older Marine didn't tell him he was in VMA-214, he told him he was in VMF-214. To my knowledge, the Black Sheep didn't change to an attack squadron until they flew A4D's. While they were flying the U-bird in WWII and Korea, they were VMF-214.

I was in 214 from July 1950 until Sep.1951. We were aboard the carrier Sicily off the Korean coast from Aug 1950 off and on until we went ashore at Wonsan in October.

Semper Fi,
W F Mitchell

About 3 newsletters back you had an email from a Marine who was graduated 10 nov 1963, PI, 179. I was graduated 9 nov, 1960, Pl 179, 1st Bn. 10 nov 1960 we were on bus to Camp Geiger, ITR. Were disappointed we spent our first Marine Corps birthday in-transit.
Mike Otrok, Cpl. E-4, 1808050

Rise to the challenge of honoring, preserving and protecting the legacies of our Fallen Warriors. Join with the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation to "give a LITTLE to those who gave ALL" by supporting,, and

Together as a Grateful Nation we will NEVER FORGET!

Funny your mention of whether or not buckets are still issued. Live in SC now, and took one of my sons to Parris Island last week. I can tell you buckets are still issued, at least according to the sign in the intake processing area on one of the buildings which read "BUCKET ISSUE"...Danged kid even bet me I wouldn't get a haircut (high & tight)... guess you know he lost that one...

Semper Fi
Fred Rothaermel
SGT 1966-1970

I was around when the Dead Sea was sick.

Semper Fi
Randall Epps, Cpl
Ammo Co. 2nd Supply Bat., 2nd FSSG

That's correct Sgt. Stites, it was changed to 4312. I 'wuz' one.
Semper Fidelis,
Don Belsey

Semper Fi MARINES!
Old Age has caught up with me. At what yardage were the targets for the .45 Pistol? I've asked some of the older Nam Vets and everyone argues about the distances. We have some current Army soldiers ( being close to Ft. Carson) that claim they have to qualify at 50 yds.
Too Old to see a 50 yd. Target
2/3 Nam Vet

In response to Pfc Ron Sundell... How many other MCTU #1 vets left out there?

I was assigned to MCTU# in Nov or Dec of 1956 H&S CO Comm section as 2531 radio operator, but mostly comm center. Was there during the operation SKY JUMP accident in which 3 Marines were killed. Also several landing and take-off Technique activities with the Thetis Bay and the simulated nuclear weapon detonation. Sorry I cannot remember a lot of my time there it was so short.

Spent 2 years with H&S CO 3/4 at KBay. Tried to join recon guys to fill a comm requirement at the time but needed to ship over, which I declined. MCTU#1 deactivated around 1JUN1957, I separated 15Jun1957 !ST LT Slade signed my release from active duty.

Jerry Green Cpl 15Jun1954 to 15Jun1957

Memories And Sacrifices

Sir... Just wanted to say how grateful I am to have access to the Sgt. Grit Newsletter each week... You are doing a great service for all Marines past and present... I have been able to make some great acquaintances with Marine brothers because of the newsletter you provide us all... I always start looking for it on Wednesday after midnight and totally enjoy every story once it gets here... In this week's letter I have an article called "In Honor and Memory" about wearing the memorial bracelets in remembrance of our Marine Corps Warriors either MIA or KIA...

I noticed at the end of the article you've taken it on yourselves to provide information on how others can get these bracelets through Sgt. Grit Marine Specialties... I very much appreciate you doing this in hopes it will encourage others to never let these men's memories and sacrifices be forgotten...

Again thank you so much and please keep up the great service you're giving us... As you know Marines love hearing and sharing stories and experiences... Thank You...

Howard W. Kennedy... USMC... 1956- 1962

You do not have to wait for the newsletter email. You can access the Sgt Grit Newsletter at approximately 5pm each Wednesday in the newsletter archives Also, every newsletter ever published is archived there.
Sgt Grit

Fourth Bucket On The Deck

In response to Terrance Stewart's comment about the chow at NS Treasure Island, I did 5 weeks at the Marine Barracks there in 1972. Worst food I ever had at any base. I swear that is where the Navy put their mess school failures. Greasy pizza from a "junk truck was better".

Bucket story; In 1970 they weren't in to hydration at boot camp. By the second day, we were dying of thirst. The DI's had one recruit from each squad fetch a bucket of water to swab the decks of our Quonset huts (San Diego). The fourth bucket went on the deck, the first three down our throats. Later, we found out all the things buckets were used for; laundry, trash, cigarette butts, sand, etc. Of course, I don't think we would have minded had we known.

Rob Popp, Cpl

Discussion Of Faults

All the pail stories reminded me of my time in basic in 1973, where yes my bucket was my multi-tool for many things. Well in addition to the usual task it also served as echo chamber and blinder for my squad leader hands on discussion on my faults, and as a sand weight during one day motovational visit. D-mn those things got heavy around the umpteenth time lifting

I remember coming back from that visit coated in dried mud and sand and then using the bucket as a bench rest for some additional personal pushup and sit-ups. Speaking of DI discussion of faults in joint tandem, I remember my only triple a-schewing by my senior and two Jr DI, point of information for future recruits, always pay attention to the senior and try void out the juniors.

CPL Einspahr 73-77.

On To Greatness

Back in 78 I was supposed to be in the air force. I had a friend I'll call Fat John. He wanted to be a Marine so bad he put in his graduation from high school. Joining the Marines, never coming back.

Fat John (RIP) couldn't do a pull up to save his life. so enter numbnuts(me). I go and try to help him. along comes Easter vacation. His Marine recruiter wants him to go to the old Philly navy yard to help him pass the physical. "The Buddy System". guess who bites the apple.

My "buddy" can't do a pull up and stays home, me I'm lookin' at yellow footprints. I enlisted for 7051 (crash crew). That's what my recruiter said. After 77 days and find out im now a 7222 (Hawk missile systems operator). I ask my recruiter what that. He says "If I told you the truth would you have joined?"... too late there.

Fast-forward 28 yrs. later. my son wants to join the Corps, a recruiter shows up. as a good Marine, I show him my discharge, promotion warrant to Sgt, etc. Think he'd understand, when I said I made Sgt in 3 1/2 yrs. and it took him 9? Nah... he tried to snipe my kid and show up, when he thought I wasn't home.

But any Marine knows his surroundings, and sees a recruiter at 25 yds. Caught the gentleman and again sent him on his way. cause he said my kid would have crash crew, the job he'd get was aviation ordinance.

Sorry for the long story. Fat John turned out to be a non-hacker (in 78-80). I went on to greatness (a Marine Sgt).

Semper Fi

Sgt Frank Thompson
3d LAAM Bn



First, I would like to thank Sgt. Grit for so unselfishly supplying all of us with this Outstanding newsletter! I was in the Corps from 1963 - 1967 . Was given a Mos of 0351, and after Camp Geiger was sent to my first duty station, that was a mistake. Mostly everyone at Cherry Point was in aviation or supply, and I was assigned to supply as well, where mostly everyone was a Mos of 3051. I went on to Vietnam, where I went to Sgt, from being Pvt, in little over a year. Glad they finally straightened out my Mos...
Thank you Sgt. Grit! Eat A Pack

Hey Sgt. Grit, In July 1958, I was at Parris Island in platoon 267. While at the rifle range, a couple of our recruits snuck out of our Quonset hut. They made it to the head and began to smoke a cigarette. Well you know some DI caught them. My DI, Sgt. [mean as hell] Nelson took all of our smoking breaks away from us. Since I was the first platoon squad leader and one of the recruits was from our squad, it was our decision to punish him. We made him smoke a few cigarette, eat a pack of cigarette, put a bucket over his head, while holding a few lite cigarettes in his mouth. We then placed a towel around his neck, so the smoke stayed inside the bucket and he then got up on top of a furnace. Needless to say, he got very sick and never snuck out for a smoke again.

So you see, we still used the buckets in the summer of 1958. We also used them to scrub the decks in the barracks. Keep up the great work you and your team does for use old Jar-heads,

Cpl E-4 Gerald King, 1818722, !958-64

I Got Fired

Sgt Grit,

In response to your 23 Feb 2012 newsletter, SSgt Hayes described a DI taking money from recruits as either, or both, bribery or theft. I would like to assure the good SSgt that Drill Instructors certainly still view it that way, at least during my time at the Island from 30 May - 24 Aug 2001 (Plt 2069, F Co, 2nd Bn).

While I explain what I mean, I'll give you a few humorous mini- stories about my DI's, starting with the fact that they HATED being referred to as DI's, the preferred nomenclature being of course, Drill Instructor. But I refer to them as DI's because as much as they taught me as a 17-year-old recruit, who had to get the "baby dose" of certain inoculations, how to be a Marine, and a man, they also made my life a living hell for 3 months. So I figure at least I can poke fun at them by calling them DI's. ::poke::

Anyhow, I've written in a few times (not as many as ddick) and had the fortune of having some fellow warriors "Old" "New" and future Corps respond, and for that I am pleased and grateful. That said, it is a bit hard to find stories that are newsletter- worthy that I have not written. I guess I can start with one that shows that DI's, at least at one time, had some humanity in them.

This story has its geniture from being a squad leader the entire time I was at the Island, save for one of our knowledge sessions which was about an hour and a half (I got fired for giving one of my two white bed sheets to a sh-tbird who couldn't find one of his sheets just before an impromptu SDI inspection, and like a good squad leader I took the heat instead of him, then reinstated after my replacement couldn't hack it).

I had spent all 4 years in high school in a MCJROTC unit, graduating at the rank of Cadet Major, and on the drill team the whole time. So I knew just a little about NAVMC 2691, or as my ROTC instructor, a retired SgtMaj, would always say, "just enough to get [me] killed." One particular time about 2 weeks into recruit training, the "Heavy Hat" DI, SSgt Crandall, gave us column right, and being 4th squad leader, I immediately pivoted on my left foot, and half-stepped for 6 counts, then proceeded at quick step. Before the platoon could finish the movement, the DI yelled "STTTTTTTTTTOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!" as is typical of first phase preparatory and commands of execution rolled into one. He then took the time to ask "What the f--- did 1st through 3rd squads do wrong?" After nobody answered, he said, "Recruit Sexton was the only one that did that right. Good job, Sexton." And proceeded with a profanity- laced lecture on why I did it right and everyone else sucked at the column right movement. Honestly I wasn't listening to what he was saying as I was still trying to recover from the words "Good job, Sexton."

The next mini-story is about our "Kill Hat", who had the frog voice typical of newly graduated DI's. He was SSgt Hojan, a Scandinavian name I believe, and pronounced Hoe-yawn. One of the recruits apparently didn't fully understand how to pronounce his name. On about the fourth day after picking up our DI's, this recruit had to ask SSgt Hojan a question, and after obliterating the palm of his hand on the DI's hatch, screamed "Recruit XXXXX requests permission to speak to Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant... Horjan... sir?" At that, SSgt Hojan burst out of the DI hatch and in his frog voice, screamed "DID YOU just call me a F---ing Wh-re???" That recruit not only remembered how to pronounce SSgt Hojan's name, but also spent the next few hours after that out in the sand pit proving he knew how to pronounce it.

On to my last mini-story (sorry if the length is too great) regarding DI's not accepting money from recruits. This one is about my SDI, SSgt Cobb, the loudest S.O.B. I have met even to this day (found that out when he made me go deaf for a few hours just by his voice upside my nasty head). SSgt Cobb was the SDI recruits dream of. He was loud, extremely firm, but very fair, but most importantly knew how to relate to recruits on a human level, because just 13 years prior he had been where we stood. Not to say SSgt Crandall and SSgt Hojan didn't, because I found out from a couple of boot camp buddies awhile later that both of them were actually really cool dudes.

But since SSgt Cobb had been such a stellar role model for us "things", was mentioned in a previous newsletter, about 3 or 4 recruits on Family Day decided to buy SSgt Cobb a few magazines from the PX that they thought he'd like, especially since he deserved some kind of comfort since he was picking up his next platoon that following Monday. In addition, our company commander happened to be in the PX at the same time, overhearing them saying stuff along the lines of "SSgt Cobb would love this".

The CO, however, did not address the situation on the spot, but went to SSgt Cobb to ask him why his recruits were buying him magazines at the PX on Family Day. Long story short, in 2001, as it is today, recruits are made Marines after the Crucible. It was explained to us that once we were made Marines, life got a just a bit easier even before graduation day. Well even though Family Day was the day before grad day, and even though those 3 or 4 recruits were technically Marines, SDI SSgt Cobb made them, and the rest of us, realize that 1) DI's do not take any gifts from recruits, ever, and 2) if they did, WHY the F--- would they let the CO KNOW??

Semper Fi,

A. T. Sexton
Former LCpl
Always a Marine

Original Ka-Bar

I had my original Ka-Bar when I served in Korea in 1952-53. It was buried away in my garage after I got married and found my wife cleaning out some of my things. She ran across my Ka-Bar and was getting ready to throw it out and when I asked her why she said because it was all dirty. I explained to her that it was not dirt, that it was blood.

Korea Commemorative Ka-Bar I put it back in the box to keep and months later when I went to retrieve it, it was gone. She had thrown it out anyway. Now I have one more from the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War.

Semper Fi
SSgt J. Oshana
E 2/1 0311

Korea Commemorative Ka-Bar

My Parents Didn't

Right out of high school my best friend and I wanted to join the Marines on the buddy plan... My 2 older brothers both Marines served in Vietnam, 1 was a sniper other was 0311... as I remember before we were sworn in we were given some personal time. I called home to let my parents know I also was going to join the Marines, both Mom and Dad were not very happy a lot of crying etc... and come home let's talk about this 1st...

Both my brothers vol so I was going to follow them. When I got to the hall for swearing in I was late and this Gunny and a Sgt tore me a new one asking me where I had been and that I better get my s--t together if you want to be in my Marine Corps. When I told them I had to call home to tell my parents what I was about to do and they wanted me to come home 1st an talk about it. you little p---y how the H-LL are you going to be a Marine have to ask mommie 1st.

This lasted for 10 mins maybe more all the other guys in formation watching... then not a word was said and the Gunny asked what my major malfunction was with a few other words. I said both my brother were in the MC, both serviced in Vietnam both were wounded - one stepped on a mine and other was wounded by grenades. Both lived from their wounds, but my parent didn't want to go through the h-ll again. When both were in combat the same time 30 min apart but never saw each other... both Marines had purple hearts and eyes were glassy and said "Son the Marines don't need you right now go home. Your family has given enough blood on the field of honor..."

Semper fi... 2 all Marines we are all brothers what I was TOLD..

Words To That Effect

Hey Sarge:

Just wanted to spill my guts about my time in The Corps. I enlisted in the Bronx, NY at The Grand Concourse and Fordham Road. (The movie either "The Wanderers" about a street gang in the Bronx shows the Marine recruiting station where I enlisted some 11 years earlier. The character's name who enlisted in the Corps. in the movie was "The Terror". After enlistment I was called to Whitehall Street, NYC for my physical exam. Ever try sitting on a marble bench bare-assed? Then later to 346 Broadway, NYC for the swearing in ceremony.

Before the swearing in we were treated like humans (coffee and donuts) after swearing in was accomplished, we traded in the goodies for brooms and had our first field day. Omen! I was interviewed by a Navy officer as to why I chose the U.S. Marine Corps. over the Navy. My reply was the Navy doesn't measure up to the U.S. Marine Corps. (or words to that effect).

I was ushered out and we were then bused and ferried to Hoboken, NJ (Old Blue Eyes hometown) and boarded a train (I think it was the same train that appeared in the early western movies. Next stop Yemassee, SC where I first encountered a real Marine (sunovab-tch). We were next bused to my favorite vacation spot of all time, Parris Island, SC.

My D.I.'s were Gunny Sgt. Starrett and Sgts. Centers and Dennison of Platoon 227. This was in the year of our Lord 1958 (January). Sgt. Centers who I later learned was battlefield promoted to an officer and later died of Agent Orange.

God bless him and my other D.I.s.
Sully USMC

They Could Only

Sgt Grit,

I am sorry for this second email regarding a story, But I HAVE to call B.S. on that story called "They Could Only".

Mark Harris
Cpl once
Marine always

I totally agree with Cpl Dan Corum... The letter that was unsigned was a total fake.
There is no way that could have happened at MCRD PISC or SD. Sounds like he may have gone to boot camp at San Antonio or not at all. I smell a RAT.

Cpl. J.W. Riner 1982640/2575... 1962-1966


It is said that in the martial art of Jiu Jitsu, one gently uses one's opponent's strength and moves against him... this principle can also be used to some effect in executing a satisfying prank. Locale, camp Del Mar, AKA 21 Area at Pendleton, time, summer of '58, personnel, students assigned to the Tracked Vehicle Repairman Course (PFC through SSGT). Everyone below the rank of SSGT (at the time pay, grade E5) was housed in a squad bay in one of the WWII 'temporary' tar-paper covered barracks... rudimentary, but not that different from the home unit squad bay arrangement... double bunks in rows, foot of the top bunk to the aisle, one side of a large double wall locker and a foot locker each, shower and heads in the cross of the 'H" (these were single story... had clotheslines in the back courtyard, where some unconscionable SOB stole three sets of clean herringbones one Saturday, but I digress..)

Marines being Marines, there was, of course, a certain amount of clutch-butt (grabass to those not offended by frank speech) between the members of the student body, including your correspondent, and two PFCs from another unit... we were all TAD to school, and I don't remember their unit... nor names, except that they both were tall (to me, most people are... ) and were considerably smarter than the average bear (long before Yogi made the phrase part of the lingua franca)... they had the presence of mind to take advantage of night courses at the local Junior College (Palomar?) a couple nights a week, while the rest of us were wasting our youth in whatever pursuits we had sufficient funds to support. (PFC's at the time made around $86/month).

Short-sheeting has been around since sheets were invented, and this, along with more involved things like shaving cream in the boots, peanut shells in the bunk, and the old favorite of disconnecting the springs connecting the wire mesh 'bed' from the sides of the bunk, replacing those with string, so that a vault into bed would bring the upper bunkie crashing down on the lower, or the lower descending to the deck, were not, shall we say, uncommon. One of the contributing factors to the success of these routine events, especially when it involved our two upwardly mobile pursuers of the Socratic tradition, was that the Oceanside bus that brought them 'home' from school at night, delivered them in front of the barracks about 20 minutes after taps/lights out. This added a bit to the results of the prank du jour ('jour' means 'day', but I dunno de French for evening... sorry 'bout that)

PFC's Schmuck and Telli, while having done their share to those bunking around them, had for some untoward reason, come to believe that I, candidate for Chaplain's Assistant, Choir Boy, Goodie Two-boondockers, etc. was somehow responsible for most of their being targeted... and they threatened me with grievous bodily, and other harms, this particular evening should anything... anything... be amiss with their domains upon their return from the ivied halls.

Standard linen issue was one cover, mattress (a bagish affair, open at one end, to be slid, with some difficulty, over the mattress, and also known universally as 'a fart sack'), two sheets, one pillow case, and two woolen blankets. One blanket was stretched tight over the sheets, hospital corners, the second, known as 'a duster', was folded in half, then pulled tight crossways over the pillow and 4" top sheet fold. Upon retiring, the duster was removed, and placed over the top blanket, so that one had three thicknesses of blanket above the top sheet (it can get right cool that close to the Pacific Ocean, and barracks heat was turned on/off according to the calendar, not the thermometer).

Enough being enough, and having been threatened, just before taps, nice person that I am, I prepared Schmuck's and Telli's bunks for them... 'turn-down service'... just like in pricey hotels... taking the duster off, placing it in the sleeping position, and turning the folded sheet and top blanket back invitingly, just like Mom would have done, and hearing the bus arrive out front, feigned (for PI grads... that means 'faked') sleep.

They came in, and in the shadowy light through the windows from the outside standing lights, could see that their bunks were NOT as they had left them. Which brings us to the evils of 'suspicion'... I could hear them... in loud whispers... 'look at that... that SOB has done something to our bunks again" So convinced were they that some dastardly plot had again been executed against them, that they, in the dark, completely stripped their bunks, including removing the mattress covers from their mattresses... and found nothing... nothing but the bitter taste of distrust in a brother who had, for once, meant no harm. (sorta...)

I think the hiatal hernia I have today may have come from 'holding it in' while seemingly asleep...

The PX at Del Mar at the time was in a really big Quonset hut... it had the usual stuff, and was staffed mostly with what used to be known as 'dependents'... wives of married Marines... including one blonde knock-out of maybe 23-24. Some items were retailed from under the glass top at the check-out counter, probably due to susceptibility to pilferage... nail clippers, Zippo lighters, etc... and condoms, known in the day as 'rubbers'... It was a payday Friday, and our hero and companions were planning a trip to Tijuana that evening. Arriving at the checkout counter with his soap, starch, new blousing garters, and can of Kiwi, he proceeded to 'check out', and all items accounted for, was asked by the blonde bombshell 'Will there be anything else??'... being swave and debonner, worldly beyond description at 19, in his best gruff, grizzly, been there, done that voice, grunted out 'ah, yeah... gimme a pack o'them Trojans'...

She smiled sweetly (it's in the position description) and innocently commented "small, medium, or large???"

He said in re-telling this at the barracks that the come-back of 'King size... you doing anything tonight?" didn't occur to him until after he had walked far enough for his face to return to somewhat normal color...


Rose Garden

I'm a Hollywood Marine, graduating in 1970. I had 2 platoons in boot due to a stress fracture in my foot, platoon 1095 then 1113. In each, I was billeted in Quonset huts. Our drill instructors (Marines, what would happen if you called them DI's?) SSgt Winston, Cpl. Aas, and darn if can recall the third one, had us do strange stuff such as marching to the showers with a pair of socks tied around our knees, so they would get washed too! Looking back, that was funny, problem is it was funny then and I laughed.

After Cpl. Aas discussed my questionable ancestry and facts about my birth, I proceeded to bends and m-----f-----s until he got tired. After boot and ITR I went PX school. Yes there is such a school! After school I was transferred to 2nd Force Troops and then off to Iwakuni, Japan to the 1stMAW. Duty was great until the NVA threw a party March 1972. The whole wing got orders ship out to Thailand. 53 hours later mission accomplished. This Nam Fong, Thailand was a WWII army air base and it looked like it. We were one of first transports there and pulled guard duty and KP! How lucky.

Charlie knew we there but Thai mercs kept them off of us. then we heard that the Commandant of the Marine Corps was flying into our little slice of heaven! About an hour before his arrival, myself and several other Marines manned positions at the end of the runway. Maybe 50 yards from us, several Marines were working on what looked to be a sign. The Lear jet landed and CMC and other brass were stared an animated discussion, then 30 minutes later he left.

We were relieved of our posts and ran up to the sign to see what was written. We all started to smile, the sign said; "HERE'S your ROSE GARDEN SIR!" I spent 8 glorious years in the green machine, the best years of my life.

Eddie Kissee Sergeant of Marines 1970-1978

Flash Protector

I was at P.I. in third Bn (huts) Plt 347. in October 1958

As the huts had no head, the head was housed in a separate "building" inside the platoon area.

Only a matter of time before. a recruit was caught smoking in the head...

We all fell out and the smoker was called out with "bucket and five cigarettes, and five cigarettes only".

He was ordered to break the cigarettes in half and put them in his mouth, then put on his bucket... At attention in our underwear, we waited for the saliva to destroy the cigarette paper and the tobacco to be swallowed. In less than two minutes he was puking everything inside him from his toenails north.

The bucket acted as a flash protector, before allowing it the flow down his chest. Simultaneously, the Sr. D.I.,S7Sgt Truax was pounding on the bucket with his swagger stick, screaming, as only they can, about the "mess on the hut area of my beloved Marine Corps" end quote.

With the order, "remove bucket, REMOVE !" he was pale green, covered in puke, with knees like Jell-O.

The platoon was then ordered to do a field day for the entire area in from of the huts....

The guy got set back the next day....That cured any thoughts on sneaking a smoke.

Bill McDermott 1806632, M-1 228103


"A man may, if he know not how to save, keep his nose to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last."
--Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanack, 1742

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?"
--Thomas Jefferson

"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
--Thomas Paine

"I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag."
--Smedley Butler, Major General USMC

"Oderint dum metuant"
Let them hate, so long as they fear.

"maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW!... we will need a 5-man funeral detail... two handles on the sh-tcan, two for road guards, one to count cadence... "

Stay Motivated Marine!
Sgt Grit

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